The sink holds a position of centrality and importance within the kitchen. A stinky and unsanitary sink makes it all the easier to let the rest of the kitchen descend into clutter and mess. These tips help keep it sparkling.
Photo by ➨ Redvers.
A nice clean sink is, well, a nice clean sink. A dirty sink on the other hand is a stained up and bacteria-ridden hole in your kitchen counter just waiting — if it isn't already — to be filled with dirty dishes and spoiled food. Fostering the habit of keeping your sink in showroom shape is a great way to increase the overall cleanliness of your kitchen.
How should you go about deep-cleaning your sink? Follow the steps below, making the noted modifications depending on the material your sink is made out of, and you'll have a clean sink your mother could love. For the sake of thoroughness, we'll assume you just purchased a frat house in "as-is" condition, complete with a funktacular sink.
- Clean out the junk: If you have a dishwasher, this step is all the easier — load it up with wild abandon, dishwashers are engineered to accept very dirty plates. If you don't have a dishwasher you're in the unenviable position of having to hand wash the plates piled into Mt. Mould.
- Bomb it with bleach: Run the tap water hot and then plug the sink. When it's about halfway full, pour in a cup or two of bleach. Your kitchen should be smelling like a freshly-chlorinated hot tub at this point. Let the bleach water sit at least until the water cools to room temperature, more than enough time for some wide-scale bacterial genocide and funk loosening. Wearing dish gloves during the plug removal and the subsequent steps is highly recommended to protect your skin. Fill the sink with clean water and drain it again to rinse away bleach residue before using any further cleaners.
- Scrub and some more: You'll need an appropriate abrasive here. If you have a stainless steel sink a green scouring pad and an abrasive cleaner is more than fine. For less durable surfaces a lighter duty scrubbing pad and a non-abrasive cleaner is in order. You don't want to mar up surface of your sink — that just makes it more susceptible to staining and funk later. Depending what has sat in the sink and for how long, you might be scrubbing for awhile.
- Dry the sink: If you have a white kitchen sink, you'd have to go out of your way to see a water or soap spots. On a stainless steel sink, water spots are annoyingly obvious. A quick pat with a dish towel when you're done using the sink is more than enough to keep the sink from getting spotted up. Some people go so far as to put a drop of lemon or olive oil in each basin of their sink and wipe it around to give the sink a nice finished look and keep water from spotting on the surface.
Just like when you spend a weekend detailing your car, then go out of your way to not throw anything on the floorboards or let anything pile up in the back seat, cleaning your kitchen sink in such a thorough fashion makes you highly resistant to wanting to muck it all up again. After I started cleaning my sink in such a thorough fashion, it stayed in a nearly perpetual state of emptiness — dishes went right into the dishwasher or were quickly washed by hand.
Have your own tips or tricks for keeping the kitchen sink empty and in order? Let's hear them in the comments below.